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Woodstock Community Center
The Woodstock Community Center has long been one of the Woodstock Neighborhood’s best kept secrets. Well the word is certainly bound to get out now, now that there is a 15 foot sign placed prominently in the center of the building’s gables.
About two years ago, the community center received a beautiful new paint job thanks to Portland Parks and Recreation (PP&R). New road signs, courtesy of the Oregon Department of Transportation, were placed along Woodstock Boulevard alerting people to the center’s location. And the little sign in front was also repainted as an extra special touch by Paul Radmaker, PP&R Lead Painter. The Friends of the Woodstock Community Center (FWCC) were proud of all they’d done in partnerships with various agencies and wanted to share their accomplishments with others. This is where the story of the sign begins again.
A sign for the community center had long been in the works. Members of the community knew that instructors and students who participated in classes at the center had difficulty finding it on the first try. However, when PP&R first announce the possible closure of the center five years ago the sign project got mothballed.
When it became clear that the efforts to keep the community center open were working and there was a strong partnership between the FWCC and PP&R, talk again turned to the sign. Lonnie Port, Chair of the FWCC, working closely with Jeff Milkes from PP&R, and Cliff Bryson, the sign maker, along with members of the FWCC, ushered this project through. Jeff worked with City Bureau’s, permitting offices and city engineers to assure the proper permits were issued and building codes were followed. Lonnie oversaw design and color and liaised with all parties, keeping lines of communication open. Cliff Bryson, the Woodcarver offered his expertise regarding signage of this magnitude. Cliff Bryson is also the woodcarver who created the Woodstock entrance signs that flank the boulevard in the medians.
After months of collaboration, the Woodstock Community Center now has the final touch to complete its façade makeover, making the building identifiable and easier to find. This is good thing because the center is busy with many classes. Some of the long-time regulars like clock repair, watercolor and Tae Kwon do continue to meet at the center. There is also a preschool co-op that is thriving at the center, along with several classes geared towards children.
A crucial piece of the agreement with PP&R is that the center needs to remain cost neutral. Meaning classes that are offered there pay for the employee time needed to staff the center during hours of operations. With the Tae Kwon do instructors donating their time and the FWCC helping with day-to-day chores they are able to meet this requirement. It also means that features such as the new sign must come from other sources.
The funding for this sign came from the generosity of neighbors who gave tax-deductable donations to support the community center.
The Friends of the Woodstock Community Center (FWCC) is a small grass roots steering committee for the Woodstock Neighborhood Association's partnership with Portland Parks & Recreation that is keeping the Woodstock Community Center open for community use.